Monday, June 14, 2010


As you can see from the photos I've done a little work on the open hearth steelmaking section of my layout.   First, on the left, are the two mainline roadbeds, with some track installed, and then to their immediate right, the working track/passing siding.  This track will enable the open hearth plant to be switched without fouling the main.  There is a switch visible off this for a small siding for the yet-to-be-built dolomite prep plant.  This plant will fit into the small space between the edge of the mirror and the column/wall for the next room.  In addition to the standard gauge siding it will be connected by an elevated track, to the narrow gauge system.    Near the backdrop you can see the HOn30 track (actually just n-scale track as it's hidden) there is a hidden staging yard of three tracks connected to the rest of the system via the incline.  These hidden tracks are for switching ingot loads from the open hearths and are actually located under the charging floor of the open hearth building.  As I said earlier, I am only modeling the charging side of the plant so the pouring side is just represented by staging.  During the typical operating session, two open hearth furnaces would be tapped (out of 12) - two tracks will have full ingot cars and one track will be empty.  The narrow gauge locos would first bring a string of empties to the yard and switch it for a string of full and then repeat the process later in the session.   I will probably have to install some sort of video camera for switching this yard.  Two things I have learned already - HOn30 locos hit Atlas n-scale remote switch machines, so I will have to use another type of remote switch machine; and the Grandt Line 25 tonner is useless on the steep gradients - it will be relegated to switching scrap buckets on the upper level of the open hearths and the converted n-scale locos will switch the ingots.  A final note on the photos - I have also started building the open hearth building and the mixer building.  The open hearth work is on the roof for now - I built it from 3/4" scrap maple plywood and some pine strips.  It will eventually get covered with corrugated siding (about $60 worth just on the roof)  The mixer building is built from 1/2" mdf and will also be covered with corrugated siding and other details - this building will not have an interior as much of it hides the narrow gauge trackage.   Just a reminder - the open hearth building is being built to exact scale based on the prototype and Pittsburgh Wheeling Steel in Monessen, PA. The roof built only represents about 1/3 of the actual open hearth building - I am only modeling the charging side from the face of the furnaces to the wall.  You will also see the stacks temporarily in place and the long rectangular marker lines show the future location of the gas producer buildings.  Because of the inclined staging track, I will only model about half of the interior of the open hearth, but the entire interior of the gas producer buildings will be visible.  

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